Ship History 1941–1969
From 28 August 1942 to 2 July 1969 USS Taylor (DD/DDE 468) served her country well as a commissioned ship of the line of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid on 28 August 1941 at Bath Iron Works in Maine, and a year later on the day she was commissioned she was at war. During her 26 years 10 months and 4 days of commissioned service, she saw action in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, and Vietnam War. USS Taylor, her officers and men, earned a place in history. USS Taylor was one of the most decorated warships of the US Navy fleet. USS Taylor Ship History 1941–1969.
Moments after Mrs. H. A. Baldridge cracked a bottle of champagne across USS Taylor’s bow on 7 June 1942, DD 468 slid down the Bath Iron Works ways into the Kennebec River, and into World War II. The ship was commissioned at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston on 28 August 1942, and exactly three years later Taylor was anchored in Tokyo Bay, awaiting the formal surrender of the Empire of Japan. USS Taylor (DD 468) led the fleet into Japanese waters, having earned the honor by her exemplary record in battle throughout the war. USS Taylor WW II History 1941–1946.
The legendary World War II destroyer USS Taylor (DD 468) distinguished herself yet again in battle, this time in Korean waters as DDE 468. Her duties and accomplishments were many during the Korean War, and included screening aircraft carriers, providing cover for minesweeping operations, shore bombardment, and search and rescue operations. Taylor played an important part in the Siege of Wonsan, and proved herself time and again under fire. During her two Korean War deployments, Taylor completed every assignment given her without the loss of a single crewman, continuing her World War II reputation as a “lucky ship”. Luck may have had something to do with it, but her officers and men were the main reason for her success. For her exemplary record in Korea, USS Taylor (DDE 468) earned two battle stars. USS Taylor Korean War History 1951–1953.
Following her Korean War service, USS Taylor (DDE 468) made several more deployments to the western Pacific. These missions included joint training exercises with allies, goodwill visits to Asian ports, including some in South Korea, and Taiwan Patrol missions to maintain a deterrent presence in the waters between Taiwan and mainland China. In 1960 Taylor visited Australia for the 18th annual celebration commemorating victory in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. Taylor spent the spring and summer of 1962 in the mid Pacific as a support unit for Operation Dominic, the largest nuclear weapons testing program — and the last atmospheric tests — ever conducted by the United States. After a repair period, Taylor’s classification was changed from escort destroyer DDE 468 to destroyer DD 468 on 7 August 1962. USS Taylor Cold War History 1953–1965.
The Vietnam War, like the Korean War, was precipitated by Communist expansion ambitions in East Asia. North Vietnam was backed by the Soviet Union and China, while South Vietnam was supported by the United States and anti-Communist allies. The two adversaries were separated by a DMZ at the Ben Hai River. US presence increased sharply after the 2 August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident, a skirmish between USS Maddox (DD 731) and North Vietnamese torpedo boats. By this time more than 40,000 North Vietnamese troops had infiltrated the south, where there were also 23,000 US advisors. USS Taylor (DD 468) arrived off the coast of Vietnam on 21 March 1965 in support of US forces ashore, now numbering 184,000. During her Vietnam War years, Taylor had four deployments to Vietnam, which would prove to be her last as a unit of the US Navy. USS Taylor (DD 468) was decommissioned on 2 July 1969 and stricken from the Navy list after 27 years of service from World War II to the Vietnam War. USS Taylor Vietnam War History 1965–1969.